Europe

Ireland votes to remove blasphemy from the constitution and re-elects Michael D. Higgins as president

By Dermot Byrne and Steve James, 3 November 2018

The collapse of Sinn Fein and the Labour Party, and their eclipse by the right-winger Casey, underscores the urgent need for a genuine socialist party of the working class in Ireland.

France to send aircraft carrier to South China Sea to threaten China

By Anthony Torres, 2 November 2018

Amid growing tensions between the major powers, France’s nuclear-armed aircraft carrier is set to travel next year to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

100,000 people living in unsafe UK tower blocks

By Barry Mason, 2 November 2018

Building surveyor expert Arnold Tarling, who has examined Large Panel System blocks across London, believes they have fundamental structural flaws.

BlackRock boss Merz applies to head Germany’s ruling CDU

By Peter Schwarz, 1 November 2018

The German ruling elite is using the grand coalition government’s election defeats in Bavaria and Hesse to push for a sharp shift to the right.

Protests and strikes signal mounting hostility toward Italian government

By Allison Smith, 1 November 2018

A protest against deteriorating conditions in Rome followed on the heels of a 24-hour “Black Friday” general strike by public sector workers.

UK budget: Labour makes clear big business will dictate Corbyn government policies

By Robert Stevens, 1 November 2018

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell met with representatives of the financial elite Wednesday to assure them a Labour government would serve their interests.

With Merkel’s withdrawal, German grand coalition accelerates lurch to the right

By Ulrich Rippert, 31 October 2018

The German Chancellor has made clear that despite mounting popular opposition, the grand coalition will intensify military rearmament, the police-state buildup and its ties to the extreme right.

UK: NHS subsidiary companies—tools for tax exemption and privatisation

By Ben Trent, 31 October 2018

Large swathes of NHS provision have been sold off to the private sector, driving down the pay, terms and conditions of workers and hugely reducing the quality of services.

State elections in Hesse mark further defeat for Germany’s grand coalition

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 October 2018

The election result is an expression of the growing hostility towards the grand coalition and its right-wing policies of militarism, state repression and social austerity.

The Unexplained Wealth Order legislation and London’s financial aristocracy

By Thomas Scripps, 30 October 2018

The move will not in any way alter London’s status as a playground for the super-rich and haven for illegal wealth.

Tens of thousands of teachers demonstrate in Glasgow for better pay

By Robert Stevens, 29 October 2018

The demonstration was far larger than the EIS anticipated and shows the desire of teachers to fight back against pay cuts.

Tamil family fight UK plans to deport their seriously ill father

By Simon Whelan, 27 October 2018

Authorities sought to deport Sangarapillai Balachandran, who had been headhunted by a British company due to a severe shortage of civil engineers with his specific skills.

European Union steps up Internet censorship in the name of opposing “disinformation”

By Johannes Stern, 26 October 2018

The EU summit threatened with sanctions and penalties any party that diverges from the prescribed political line in the 2019 European election campaign.

UK: May fends off challenge by hard-Brexiteers

By Robert Stevens, 26 October 2018

That May, who supported Remain in the 2016 referendum, was able to seize the day reflects a pronounced shift in ruling circles, who cannot countenance a hard Brexit.

“Trident Juncture” manoeuvres begin: NATO rehearses for war against Russia

By Philipp Frisch, 25 October 2018

The month-long manoeuvres in Norway heighten the danger of war between NATO and Russia.

French flooding deaths expose legacy of austerity

By Olivier Laurent, 25 October 2018

Fourteen people were killed and 75 injured in floods that ravaged the Aude region of southern France last week.

Thousands strike in Glasgow for equal pay

“The council seem to think they can do what they want and get away with it”

By our reporters, 25 October 2018

Workers maintained picket lines at many of the city’s schools, museums, cleansing depots and libraries.

Trump says US will withdraw from Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty

By Alex Lantier, 22 October 2018

As it targets Russia, China and other major powers, Washington is scrapping the entire framework of nuclear arms control that emerged from the Cold War.

Julian Assange takes legal action against Ecuadorian government

By James Cogan, 22 October 2018

WikiLeaks lawyers will challenge Ecuador’s threat to evict Assange from its London embassy if he does not accept anti-democratic conditions for continuing asylum.

People’s Vote campaign ups ante against hard Brexit with large London protest

By Robert Stevens, 22 October 2018

The campaign in support of a second referendum on British membership of the EU is a cross-party initiative with significant support and funding from the political and corporate elite.

A color revolution in the making: Vladimir Kara-Murza and Keith Gessen at Columbia University

By Clara Weiss, 22 October 2018

The event at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute was a stark testimony to the advanced preparations for a US-backed color revolution in Russia.

European Union and Rome fight over Italian budget

By Marianne Arens, 20 October 2018

In the conflict over the Italian budget, the EU Commission takes the side of the banks, stock exchanges and credit agencies, while the government pursues a course of militarism and attacks on immigrants and workers.

“McStrike”: UK unions police anger of young workers

By Alice Summers and Robert Stevens, 20 October 2018

Behind talk of a coordinated struggle, the demand of service workers for better pay and conditions is being misled by the trade unions.

Brexit impasse at European Union summit

By Robert Stevens, 19 October 2018

The failure to reach any agreement over Brexit is the product of escalating national antagonisms within Europe and internationally.

Italian Interior Minister Salvini orders removal of migrants from Riace

By Marianne Arens, 19 October 2018

The right-wing coalition government has ordered the removal of all migrants from the “village of hospitality” in southern Calabria.

The raid on Unsubmissive France and the global rise of state repression

By Alex Lantier, 19 October 2018

Coming after the brutal state murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the raid on LFI points to a generalized resort to police state repression against political opposition

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

South African plastics workers in national strike; Capetown transport workers wildcat

19 October 2018

Some 10,000 plastics workers in South Africa are on strike seeking the revocation of a pay reduction while bus drivers in Capetown walked out Monday demanding improvements in wages and working conditions.

After 250,000 people march in Berlin

The way forward in the struggle against the far-right danger in Germany

By Ulrich Rippert and Johannes Stern, 18 October 2018

Last weekend’s massive demonstration in Berlin expressed widespread popular opposition to the return of fascism and militarism in Germany.

After police raids on LFI, French courts and media denounce Mélenchon

By Alex Lantier, 18 October 2018

The official reaction to the police raids on Mélenchon’s LFI movement shows that a police state exists and is rapidly consolidating itself in France.

Macron organises French cabinet reshuffle to pursue austerity and militarism

By Francis Dubois, 18 October 2018

The government reorganisation will not resolve the crisis of rule emerging from growing working class opposition to Macron's program.

UCU recall conference seeks to silence opposition to sell-out of UK lecturers’ strike

By Robert Stevens, 18 October 2018

Anyone believing that today’s recall will provide an opportunity to discuss the betrayal underestimates the contempt of the union apparatus for democratic debate.

“National crisis” facing UK National Health Service as deficits grow

By Ben Trent, 16 October 2018

The budget deficits are the outcome of a systemic attack on a public health service provider with the intent of bringing the 70-year-old institution into private hands.

A quarter-million protest in Berlin against the grand coalition and the return of fascism

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 October 2018

Nearly 250,000 people demonstrated Saturday in Berlin against racism, the far-right Alternative for Germany’s witch-hunting of immigrants, and the reactionary policies of the grand coalition government.

Ecuador to partially restore Julian Assange’s access to communications and visitors

By James Cogan, 15 October 2018

Ecuador’s decision does not end the danger Assange faces or his effective imprisonment inside the small embassy building in London.

Brexit crisis leaves fate of May government in balance

By Robert Stevens, 15 October 2018

If the May government fails to secure an EU deal without precipitating a pro-Brexit Conservatives and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) rebellion, a general election might result, bringing a Jeremy Corbyn Labour-led government to power.

Scottish National Party proposes pact with Labour for second Brexit referendum

By Steve James, 15 October 2018

The SNP is proposing support for a Labour government in the UK based on demands for a rerun of the 2016 Brexit vote.

In Rome, Salvini and Le Pen launch campaign for a neo-fascist Europe

By Francis Dubois and Alex Lantier, 15 October 2018

Exploiting reactionary austerity policies carried out by social-democratic and pseudo-left parties across Europe, the two neo-fascistic leaders posed as defenders of the peoples of Europe.

Bonus removal cancels out Amazon’s UK pay rise

By Alice Summers, 13 October 2018

Workers are effectively paying for their own wage increase through the slashing of employee benefits, share and incentive schemes, with some possibly seeing a net loss.

Macron fails to name new French government

By Francis Dubois, 13 October 2018

More than ten days after Interior Minister Gérard Collomb resigned, President Emmanuel Macron again missed a self-imposed deadline to name a new government.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry:

Survivors and bereaved give evidence—“We will not be silenced anymore”

By Paul Bond, 13 October 2018

The evidence reveals a devastating picture of official negligence before and after the fire.

Russia: Putin ally Kudrin pushes for rapprochement with the imperialist powers

By Clara Weiss, 13 October 2018

Underlying the push toward improving ties with imperialism are the growing class tensions in Russia itself.

France’s Mélenchon tacitly backs Wagenknecht’s xenophobic Aufstehen group

By Anthony Torres, 13 October 2018

By his silence, Mélenchon is tacitly supporting forces within his Unsubmissive France party that are orienting toward right-wing populism and the militarization of Europe.

Polls in German state elections forecast massive rejection of Grand Coalition

By Marianne Arens and Markus Salzmann, 12 October 2018

If current opinion polls are correct, the election results will not only send shock waves through the states affected, but also through the federal government.

Hitler’s resurrection in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 12 October 2018

A column by Alternative for Germany (AfD) Chairman Alexander Gauland, based largely on a 1933 speech by Hitler, has been published in one of Germany’s most prominent newspapers.

Britain’s pseudo-left oppose worker rebellion against Royal College of Nurses leadership

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 11 October 2018

The no-confidence motion against the executive of the Royal College of Nurses is only one example of growing opposition to the decades of betrayals by the trade union bureaucracy.

Calls grow in Madrid to ban Catalan nationalist parties

By Alejandro López, 11 October 2018

Banning parties that collectively receive millions of votes would mark a major escalation in the drive of the Spanish and European bourgeoisie to establish a police state.

Kilometres from the ashes of Grenfell Tower

British royals spend millions on palace improvements

By Laura Tiernan, 11 October 2018

More than £1.4 million will be spent to make Kensington Palace more comfortable for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Open letter by students condemns right-wing offensive at Berlin’s Humboldt University

By International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Germany), 11 October 2018

Student organisations from Humboldt University and across Germany published an open letter denouncing the cooperation of the university administration with the far right and its attacks on students’ social and democratic rights.

Brutal conditions at Greek refugee camps condemned

By John Vassilopoulos, 9 October 2018

The appalling conditions in Greece refugee camps are a direct consequence of the filthy deal cut between the European Union, Turkey and the Syriza government in 2016.

Chemnitz: German Neo-Nazi terrorist group relied on extremist network

By Christopher Lehmann, 9 October 2018

The authorities’ claims that the anti-immigrant rampage by neo-Nazis in Chemnitz took them by surprise are not credible.

German government organises mass deportations of refugees to Kabul

By Marianne Arens, 9 October 2018

The louder the protests of working people, the more deliberate and mercilessly the German government pursues its right-wing policies.

French government on verge of collapse after interior minister resigns

By Alex Lantier, 9 October 2018

Like rats fleeing a sinking ship, ministers are abandoning Macron in an attempt to save their political careers by finding positions in municipal politics.

Relations deteriorate between Hungary and Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 9 October 2018

Two of eastern Europe’s right-wing governments clash in a dispute over passports, language laws and military exercises.

Build rank-and-file committees to unify struggles against austerity in France!

By the Socialist Equality Party (France), 9 October 2018

Workers face the choice between President Emmanuel Macron’s social counterrevolution and a revolutionary struggle to bring down the Macron government.

French government staggered by Interior Minister Collomb’s resignation

By Francis Dubois, 8 October 2018

Collomb’s resignation has laid bare the weakness of President Emmanuel Macron’s government.

Labour Party-run councils escalate austerity in UK

By Alice Summers, 8 October 2018

Far from standing up to Tory-led austerity measures, Labour councils are blazing the trail when it comes to attacks on public services.

Kremlin suffers defeats in regional elections

By Andrea Peters, 6 October 2018

The electoral upsets that took place in September come as evidence mounts of growing discontent with Russia’s ruling party.

40,000 people protest in Munich, Germany against racism and police state laws

By Markus Salzmann, 6 October 2018

On October 3, the day marking the reunification of Germany, 40,000 people demonstrated in the Bavarian capital against racism and the new Police Task Law (PAG)

The destruction of Germany’s Thyssenkrupp and the role of the IG Metall union

By Dietmar Henning, 6 October 2018

The decision to break up the Thyssenkrupp multinational conglomerate, in which the IG Metall union has played a key role, has been secretly prepared for months.

UK: No to Driver Only Trains in any form, mobilise against rail union sellout

By Michael Barnes, 6 October 2018

The struggle by rail workers in defense of jobs is in danger, due to the systematic sabotage of their fight by the unions.

“I am a poet who has the ability to sing his poems” – Charles Aznavour (1924-2018)

By Paul Bond, 6 October 2018

Aznavour grew up with a love of music and theatre and leaves a legacy of some 1,200 songs, innumerable recordings, and some notable film appearances.

US, UK and NATO allies ramp up anti-Russia offensive over “cyber spying” and Skripals

By Robert Stevens, 5 October 2018

To frame the demand for the seven arrests, the US utilised all the material gathered by its NATO allies against Russia over the Skripal/novichok affair.

Risk of no-deal Brexit staggers European companies and economy

By Alex Lantier, 5 October 2018

With mass layoffs prepared in auto firms, plans in ruling circles are well advanced to place the cost of any Brexit crisis firmly on the backs of workers internationally.

3,000 Dutch public service workers protest in The Hague

By our reporters, 5 October 2018

Anger over high levels of social inequality in the Netherlands swelled after the neo-liberal-conservative coalition government announced the abolition of the country’s tax on dividends.

German parliament president Schäuble advocates militarism and stepped-up state repression in “Unity Day” speech

By Ulrich Rippert, 5 October 2018

Since German reunification 28 years ago, October 3 has become a national holiday and served as a platform for leading state representatives to deliver speeches setting the course for the future.

Brexit and growing social divide dominate crisis-ridden Tory conference

By Robert Stevens, 4 October 2018

Both wings of the Tories are concerned that Prime Minister May’s downfall could lead to a Corbyn-led Labour government that would be unable to keep the working class in check.

Washington threatens preemptive strike against Russian missiles

By Bill Van Auken, 3 October 2018

The threat by the US envoy Kay Bailey Hutchison to “take out” Russian missiles raises the specter of a nuclear Third World War.

UK nurses vote to remove Royal College of Nursing leadership after pay deal sellout

By Ajanta Silva, 3 October 2018

There is growing opposition among nurses and health care workers to a deal that includes an effective cut in real wages following years of attacks on wages and conditions.

German neo-Nazi group arrested after far-right riot in Chemnitz

By Johannes Stern, 3 October 2018

State prosecutors in Saxony and Bavaria ordered the arrest of seven people on Monday on suspicion of forming a right-wing terrorist organisation.

Campaign grows inside Podemos for alliance with Spanish right

By Alejandro López, 2 October 2018

After figures in the Podemos leadership praised Italy’s far-right government, a movement for nationalism and appeals to right-wing parties is growing inside Podemos.

Dozens injured as Catalan separatists and regional police clash in Barcelona

By Alejandro López, 1 October 2018

A year after the Catalan independence referendum, none of the issues that led to the referendum crisis and the violent repression by Madrid have been resolved.

Macron whitewashes French state murder of Maurice Audin

By Francis Dubois and Alex Lantier, 1 October 2018

Audin’s murder in Algeria constitutes a warning of the nature of imperialist war, which still echoes 60 years on, as NATO intervenes across the Middle East.

German Left Party mayor orders deportation of refugees

By Markus Salzmann, 29 September 2018

The Left Party mayor of Frankfurt on the Oder, René Wilke, has initiated a deportation order against seven refugees from Syria, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories.

Meghan Markle’s Grenfell cookbook: The royal family in damage control mode

By Laura Tiernan, 29 September 2018

Markle’s “first solo project” is an attempt to restore public faith in the monarchy, present a caring and “culturally diverse” image and prevent the working class from challenging the wealth, privilege and power of the British ruling class.

Jeremy Corbyn calls for unity with Labour’s right-wing and the “business world”

By Robert Stevens, 29 September 2018

Addressing those who have spent years slandering him and his supporters, Corbyn pleaded that it was necessary “to focus on what unites us. We are on a journey together and can only complete it together.”

Airline workers launch largest strike in Ryanair’s history

By Gustav Kemper, 28 September 2018

The decision by the German unions to call a strike late on Thursday makes today's strikes in five European countries the largest in the budget airline's history.

German Chancellor Merkel loses closest ally

By Ulrich Rippert, 28 September 2018

It has already become clear that the grand coalition relies on far-right elements to enforce its social and political attacks.

German government agrees to arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia, fuelling war in Yemen

By Sven Heymann, 28 September 2018

The arms shipments to the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula are part of the strategic plans of the German ruling class, which wants to pursue its geopolitical goals by military means.

Turkish president visits Berlin as US-European conflict in Middle East rises

By Alex Lantier, 28 September 2018

Erdogan went to Germany seeking an ally against Trump’s trade war measures and increasingly hostile policy toward Turkey in the Syrian war crisis.

Vote “yes” on resolution to force out Royal College of Nursing leadership! Build rank-and-file committees!

By NHS FightBack, 28 September 2018

The resolution gives voice to the growing rebellion among nurses and health workers against the RCN executive’s collusion with the Conservative government.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018

An interview with Mike Leigh, director of Peterloo: “You don’t run out of steam if what you do … is to literally hold the mirror up to nature”

By David Walsh, 28 September 2018

The WSWS spoke to British filmmaker Mike Leigh in Toronto.

The neo-Nazi offensive in Germany and the role of historians

By Christoph Vandreier, 27 September 2018

The 52nd Historikertag (Historians’ Conference) September 25-28 in Münster takes place under conditions where historical questions have assumed immense significance.

UK Labour conference passes Brexit motion with option for “people’s vote”

By Thomas Scripps, 26 September 2018

Labour Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, speaking for the Blairites and dominant sections of British business, sees the latest compromise as a step toward committing Labour to retaining membership of the EU.

UK military step up marches and parades on streets of Britain

By Thomas Scripps, 26 September 2018

The show of force in Inverness, Scotland is one particularly extreme example of a succession of military parades that have taken place across Britain in the last few months.

German grand coalition backs secret service head who defended neo-Nazis

By Peter Schwarz, 25 September 2018

The decision to retain Hans-Georg Maassen in the interior ministry sends a clear message to the extreme right that it enjoys the full backing of the grand coalition.

At conference of British Labour Party

Corbyn and trade unions block deselection of right-wing MPs

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

Anger was generated among Labour Party conference delegates by the rotten compromise stitched up by the National Executive Committee in a two-day meeting prior to the conference.

Release the framed-up Istanbul airport workers!

No to pressure and intimidation against the working class!

By the Socialist Equality Group of Turkey, 25 September 2018

Construction workers framed by the government should be released instantly, and their demands for humane and decent working conditions granted.

MI5’s anti-Corbyn campaign and the slandering of Michael Foot

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

What is revealed by the renewed slander campaign against Foot is a dirty plot by the security services to bring down a Labour government, had it won the 1983 general election, that now reads like a dry run for today’s campaign against Corbyn.

Hundreds of neo-Nazis chant anti-Semitic slogans in Dortmund, Germany

By Ulrich Rippert, 24 September 2018

The far-right, xenophobic policies of the grand coalition government are encouraging right-wing extremists and neo-fascists.

“History never teaches anyone anything”

Russian neo-Stalinist defends Partido Obrero’s “refounding” of Fourth International

By Bill Van Auken, 24 September 2018

Said Gafurov, a former advisor to Vladimir Putin, defends the PO's policy on the basis that the struggle of Trotskyism against Stalinism has lost all political significance.

EU summit marked by Brexit threats and ultimatums

By Chris Marsden, 22 September 2018

Theresa May's address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be “unworkable.”

“A whiff of 1933”

Sharp rise in far-right attacks in Germany

By Marianne Arens and Ulrich Rippert, 22 September 2018

Racist and anti-semitic attacks are rising at an alarming rate across Germany with acts of violence occurring on almost a daily basis.

New documents on Yeltsin-Clinton conversations further expose US “meddling” in Russian politics

By Clara Weiss, 22 September 2018

The Clinton Foundation has released hundreds of pages of documents about conversations between US president Bill Clinton and Russian president Boris Yeltsin.

Macron impeachment mooted as more French ministers resign

By Francis Dubois, 22 September 2018

Two weeks after Macron called for a “common front” of all his ministers as the school year began, ministers are constantly resigning, throwing into question the survival of the government.

Manchester “anti-Semitism” protest

Blairites and Tories share platform calling for Corbyn’s removal

By Robert Stevens, 22 September 2018

Tory MP Chris Green not only called for Corbyn’s removal, but suggested how the Blairites could defy the democratic will of their own party’s members.

Promotion of German secret service chief evokes the tradition of the Gestapo

By Ulrich Rippert, 21 September 2018

As thousands protest on the streets against the German government’s right-wing policies, the ruling parties in Berlin have agreed to to expand the influence of the extreme right within the state.

In Germany’s Hambacher Forest: The state shows its ugly face

By Marianne Arens, 21 September 2018

In Hambacher Forest near Cologne, which is occupied by protesters seeking to prevent the forest being razed to the ground, a journalist was killed this week.

UK government attempt to gag teachers as cuts deepen

By Tania Kent, 21 September 2018

The government reaction must be seen as a warning: not only will school cuts continue unabated but that they will move forcefully against any attempts to block their austerity agenda.

Anticapitalistas in Spain’s Podemos debate orienting to far-right Italian regime

By Alejandro López, 20 September 2018

While weakly criticising applause from Podemos of the Salvini government’s policies, the Pabloites are only concerned that it would expose them to criticism from the left.

European Union announces draconian internet censorship measures

By Thomas Scripps, 20 September 2018

The new EU law will formalise even closer relationships between state security services and tech companies.